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Schedule of Events for 2010
Art in the Land Conference ~ September 18, 2010
Click here for a list of upcoming events at Sculpture in the Parklands in 2010.
Culture in the Cutaway
SCULPTURE: Sculpture in the Parklands at Lough Boora, in Co Offaly, is frequently praised abroad and deserves to be better known here at home, writes GEMMA TIPTON
SOME YEARS AGO, I flew to El Paso, hired a car and drove out into the desert to look at Donald Judd’s epic works of art, installed in a series of former artillery sheds as well as outside in the wild Texas landscape. I planned other trips, not yet taken, to see Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field, a vast area of lightning rods in New Mexico that occasionally (very occasionally) attracts a play of electricity from the sky; and to Utah for Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels. But strangely enough, I never thought to go to Offaly. That was a mistake and, now that I have rectified it, I would urge everyone to go there – specifically, to Sculpture in the Parklands at Lough Boora, roughly midway between Tullamore and Birr. ........ Read Full Article
Sculpture in the Parklands receives Heritage Council
Sculpture in the Parklands is pleased to announce that it has recently received Heritage Council funding for an innovative education programme that explores the boundaries between art, science and technology. Internationally renowned artist and scientist Brandon Ballengee will deliver an education programme over a two-week period from July 19th to July 30th that will focus on the rich biodiversity of the Lough Boora Parklands. The programme will include a week -long education programme for primary school age children, one-day workshops for all ages and a series of lectures and night walks to discover the rich nocturnal biodiversity of the Boora bogs.
Since 1996, Ballengee has collaborated with scientists to create hybrid environmental art/ecological research projects. He is directly involved with field study research and uses the visual impact of science to engage the public in a discussion of broader environmental issues. Brandon states “My work attempts to blur the already ambiguous boundaries between environmental art and ecological research”. In an interview with art critic and environmental writer John Grande he states, “I believe art can change the way people see the world. Joseph Beuys bathed and swam in bogs to raise awareness about these sensitive ecosystems. Sharing Beuys fondness for mud, my work is created from information, species and other materials collected on field surveys or generated in biology laboratories. By bringing the public along, I try to bridge communities to local eco-systems and the great diversity of life found within them and also the causes of degradation.”
Kevin O’Dwyer, Director of the Sculpture in the Parklands states: “ We are delighted to receive funding from the Heritage Council and Offaly County Council Heritage office for this imaginative and innovative project. The programme will be informative, fun and relevant to environmental issues in the 21st century. I had the pleasure to work with Brandon at Yorkshire Sculpture Park during his residency in 2007. I hope this will be an ongoing relationship as his work is important with engaging the public and informing them of the rich biodiversity of the Boora Bogs.”
During Brandon’s residency he will install a large canvas screen into the sculpture park entitled Love Motel for Insects. The installation will use ultra violet lights on the enormous blank canvas to attract insects and this will create an opportunity for public interaction with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. This is an ongoing project that has been installed across the world from tropical rain forests, inner city bus stops, Brownfield sites, Scottish Highlands, German city centres and Venetian boats as part of the Venice Biennial. At each site the insects arrive onto the canvas to reproduce and create pheromone paintings! Members of the public will be invited to participate in night walks to the Love Motel installation and Brandon will talk about our nocturnal insect friends as well as document the rich insect biodiversity in the landscape. The last weekend of the residency will culminate with an Insect Festival, which will exhibit the artwork and insect documentation over the two preceding two weeks.
Brandon’s artworks have been exhibited in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Recent solo exhibitions include, Nowhere Gallery (Milan), the Shrewsbury Museum (Shropshire, Charles Darwin’s birthplace), the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park (NYC), the Peabody Museum Of Natural History (Yale University). He has co-taught ecology art and neotropical evolution courses in Costa Rica for Hartwick College and he regularly conducts ecology/field biology/genetics and digital imagining workshops open to the general public at urban parks, wetlands, zoos and fish markets. In 2001 he was nominated for membership into Sigma XI, the Scientific Research Society. His lead authored article (with Dr. Stanley K Sessions), “Explanation for Missing Limbs in Deformed Amphibians” was published in 2009 in Journal of Experimental Zoology and received international media attention from the BBC and others.
O’Dwyer states, “ This is the International Year of Biodiversity and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the year in the sculpture park. I hope that the public will support Brandon’s programme so that we will be able to deliver additional education programmes in the future. I’d like to thank the Heritage Council, Amanda Pedlow, Heritage officer with Offaly County Council, Alex Copeland of Bird Watch Ireland, Tom Egan and Dr. Catherine Farrell of Bord na Mona and the Lough Boora Parklands Group for their enthusiasm and support for this project. The sculpture park was founded on the rich industrial and natural heritage of Lough Boora and this project continues with its mission to engage the public and celebrate our cultural and environmental heritage.”
Sculpture in the Parklands will host a free public lecture by Brandon Ballengee at 7.30pm on April 29th in Teach Lea community hall. We will have further information on the July workshops at the lecture. The primary school workshop will be limited to 20 students and will take place from July 19th to 23rd. Further information will be available in April from Kevin O’Dwyer, Sculpture in the Parklands, Amanda Pedlow, Offaly Heritage Officer and by visiting the Sculpture in the Parklands website www.sculptureintheparklands.com. Booking places for workshop at email@example.com.
Trans Form Actions 2010
The Lough Boora Parklands are a unique public landscape feature in the Midlands of Ireland. With a tradition of supporting artistic intervention in the landscape, the Sculpture in the Parklands project under the directorship of Kevin O’Dwyer provides an opportunity for Land Art interventions within the rich and diverse cultural landscape of the Midlands of Ireland. Resonating with the industrial heritage of peat extraction, human interaction with wetlands and boglands and with rural community arts projects, the setting of the Sculpture in the Parklands project provides a superb scenario for the exploration of themes of landscape transformation, human agency and environmental and ecological sustainability.
Sculpture in the Parklands in collaboration with the Archaeology Department at University College Dublin will participate in a European Union Cultural programme entitled Trans Form Actions, which will invite international artists to respond to unique landscapes and archaeological sites across Europe. Trans Form Actions will involve Architecture, Archaeology, Landscape Architecture, Performance and Installation Art. The objective is to involve a wide series of partners into the changing of different landscapes through the action of artists (in the broad sense mentioned). There will be a close emphasis on a strategy of dissemination of the action. Through this the programme will build a wider sustainable European cultural network related to art landscape transformation.
The collaboration between University College Dublin and Sculpture in the Parklands will also allow for academic and artistic investment in local, rural communities in Offaly through the provision of public lectures and guided tours by members of the academic community of University College Dublin. There will also be an exhibition and presentations of the results of the interventions as well as of other interventions in the Trans Form Actions project.
The project will be organised in collaboration with and executed by Kevin O’Dwyer of Sculpture in the Parklands, Lough Boora Parklands. Professor Gabriel Cooney (Archaeology UCD), Pat Cooke (Cultural Policy UCD) and Dr. Ian Russell (Archaeology UCD) will support the programme over the two-year period. Invited artists include renowned environmental artist Alfio Bonanno and performance artist Nigel Rolfe who will be in artist in residence in 2010. The original music composition for Quartet “Black is the Earth” by Adele O’Dwyer will be recorded and performed at UCD, Lough Boora Parklands and Tullamore as part of the programme of events to celebrate this unique collaboration.